Ezekiel 9 (Part 2 of 3)

Note: Due to subject matter we need to expand it from a 2 part to a 3 part post. This 2nd part we’ll study Ellen White’s quotes in regard to Ezekiel 9. 

 Before we go further it would be helpful to clear up a basic  and often asked question from the SDA .   “Where does the idea that Ezekiel 9 happens before the plaques  and not in them,  come from?”

Many think that brother Houteff began this teaching, when infact it comes from our prophetess-Ellen White. In (Testimonies to Ministers, p.445) she says ” The sealing of the servants of God was the same that was shown Ezekiel in vision, John also had  been a witness of this most startling revelation.”

So we see that Ezekiel saw what happened to those not sealed (the execution of judgment), and John saw that as well, but wasn’t permitted to describe that part. He described how many were sealed(144K) , and when it was to occur (before the winds are let go). As John’s revelation (Rev.7) is the same as Ezekiel’s then we see that the sealing (Ezekiel 9) takes place before the winds are let loose per Rev.7. This is important to know to confirm the time setting of Ezekiel 9. Next we can find out what the “winds”  and  “Israel”  represent.

First on the winds. EGW says, “The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that have the mark of the beast. we came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only a threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. Tha will be a decisive time for God’s children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p.152)

So we see clearly that the four winds represent the Sunday law, the mark of the beast decreee. Obviously we know that the Sunday law comes before the plaques, thus the sealing of God’s servants (Rev.7, Ezekiel 9) is to occur before the decree is issued.

Next we need to see who “Israel” is that is mentioned in Rev. 7. Obvoiusly the 144,000 come from the tribes of Israel. This is also cleared up. EGW-  “In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh Day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul- temple of all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol 9, P.164-65)

So the 144,000 servants of God come from the SDA church. Rev. 7’s sealing is  clear to us. Who it is that get’s sealed, when they are sealed, and what happens after.

Let’s go now to perhaps the most direct and startling statements concerning Ezekiel 9 from the pen of EGW. “The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly swelling figures show that the time for God’s visitation has almost come. Although loathe to punish, nevetheless He will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expentancy of ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of His visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. {5T 209.3}

The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. {5T 210.1}

The command is: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, COUNSELLED, and entreated. Some who had been dishonouring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2}

In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. 

They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonoured, the truth made of none effect. {5T 210.3}

The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” {5T 211.1}    (Author’s note- This is exact quote from Ezekiel chapter 9)

Here we see that the church–the Lord’s sanctuary–was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God.

The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. {5T 211.2}

The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide. {5T 211.3}

No superiority of rank, dignity, or worldly wisdom, no position in sacred office, will preserve men from sacrificing principle when left to their own deceitful hearts. Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God’s mercies. Their wicked course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath He deals with them without mercy. {5T 212.1}

It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favoured with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure. {5T 212.2}

The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” {5T 212.3}

Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons.”  (Testimonies for the Church,Vol. 5,  p. 209-212)

Where do we start? The above is so packed with straight testimony, we see that she indeed practices what she preaches “will not hold their peace to obtain favour from any”. Let’s clearly understand what was just said.

We know that there is specific instructions given to the marking angel (clothed in white linen) by our Lord. EGW shows us  that “only” those who sigh and cry for sins done by ourselves and the church, will get God’s seal, per Rev. 7- Ezekiel 9.

She also confirms our opening question –“When does Ezekiel 9 happen?”  You’ll notice that after quoting Ezekiel 9, shes say that the church was the first to feel God’s wrath. So if God begins His wrath judgments in our church first, it logically tells us the plaques come after.  And as we found earlier, the church judgments happen before the Sunday law.

“The purging and cleansing will surely pass through every church in our land that has had great opportunities and priveleges, and has passed them by unheeded.” (Testimonies for Ministers, p.414)

“The Lord will work to purify His church. I tell you in truth, the Lord is about to turn and overturn the institutions call by His name….Just how soon this refining process will begin, I can not say, but it will not be long deferred. He whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple of it’s moral defilement He will thoroughly purge His floor” (Testimonies for Ministers,  p. 373)

“When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people. Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! Oh, that our people may, as did Nineveh, repent with all their might and believe with all their heart, that God may turn away His fierce anger from them. (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.77)

We remember  that the plaques have 7 angels pouring out 7 vials of destruction. Ezekiel 9 has 6 angels, with each of them having slaughter weapons, not vials. And Ezekiel 9 takes place upon “Jerusalem” (God’s people(church)-Isreal) whereas the 7 last plaques come on Babylon (the heathen world). Totally different scenes and at different times. This is beyond dispute.

As we touched on in part 1, the purpose of our Lord’s executing judgment upon His house first, is to get the church in righteousness, with not even one Achan in it’s midst, so He can pour out His Spirit and power in full upon His church. Then, and only then will God’s mighty power go forth to conquer the world, spiritually speaking. They will call out the great multitude from the Sunday churchs and other religions. Signs and miracles will abound. This exactly why we don’t see much of them today–His Spirit is not poured out yet due to the mixed church.

Let’s look at another Ezekiel 9 reference. “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people on earth.” ( Great Controversy p.425).

We see that “while” the investigative judgment is going on, not after it but during it, God’s people will be purified and sin will be “put away”.  This is exactly what the purpose of Ezekiel 9 is to accomplish. As we mentioned prior, our Lord cannot wait forever for us, His people, to right the ship. He must take the reins in His own hands (Testimonies to Ministers, P.300).

In another quote Ellen explains ” I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message…with the additional message of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844.”

Here we see that the important event was in a preparatory stage as the “other ” angel comes and unites his voice to the message. The  point in this is that the message of that other angel is about our own church corruption. This is exactly what the Elijah (Shepherd’s Rod) message is all about. Notice that this message cannot be a message where this other angel tells it to us to tell the world. That would be useless, for what use whould it be for the world to know about our corruptions? It has to be a message given to ourselves from the faithful true witnesses. Then we can see that as the “important event” is prepared, it awaits the work of the other angel message to have effect, to cause those who will, to repent and prepare. The important event is none other than Ezekiel 9.(Early Writings, p.277)

Let me go back to today’s real situation in His church and give an example of our leaders carelessly minding God’s house. Recently we had a monthly church lunch. The dining room happens to right off the Sanctuary. There is a large curtian that goes from one end of the dining room to the other, and when closed, effectively shuts out the Sanctuary and vice-versa (as we do while service in going on). A while back I went to the ex-pastor and elder and mentioned to them that instead of  leaving the curtian wide open while having the lunch, with all kinds of gossip and noise, going right into the Sanctuary, we should close the curtain during the lunches (it should be closed almost always anyway).

They agreed it was good to do this. The “first” lunch after was done as we agreed, the curtain closed. The next lunches therafter, nothing was done at all. My point in this is  — where are the leaders? The whole reverence behavior in God’s house means nothing!  This is a perfect example of the Lord observing carelessness and lack of reverence in His house. Do you see why He must take control?

Lastly, our prophetess describes how the church will be post Ezekiel 9. “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. “Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” (Prophets and Kings, P. 725)

“An awakened church- when we have entire wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure: But this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” (Review and Herald, July 21, 1896).

This conquering will only be done with God’s full Spirit poured out. How often do we see on 3 abn or other SDA sites where “man” has a global plan now to win the multitudes. Sadly, these leaders do not believe in the above words of Ellen White. If  they did they would cease trying to save the world and do what is needed first–save ourselves (His church). EGW explains, “The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden” (Testimonies for Church, Vol. 6, P.371)

The Lord’s eye is and has always been upon His church. And as we learned one coveting theif in the people’s multitude  upset the Lord and stopped Him completely.Can we continue to swell the numbers without regarding the importance of the existing members being truly converted?

But all is not lost, each and every one of us who now have opportunity to put away our cherished sins, can be among those who “survive” the beginning judgment for the living – Ezekiel 9.

Next week, we’ll look at the final part 3, where many Scriptures foretell Ezekiel 9. These were largely uncovered by our last prophet-Victor T. Houteff. Ellen White began the work of announcing the surprise coming of the Lord to His “temple” (Mal. 3:1), brother Houteff finishes it, as was his Elijah purpose (Mal 4:5).

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4 Responses to “Ezekiel 9 (Part 2 of 3)”

  1. BG Says:

    Right on. & So completely clear:> the “it is Written” Truth, bro. God Blessed & keeps you.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    I want to praise the Lord for His bestowing upon you such insight to His end time plans. May we, as a team for the Lord, go forward to inspire and help any way we can, the understanding of these truths, as our Lord has so graciously bestowed upon us. May God conitnue to be with you bro.

  3. b. Albert Graham Says:

    Amen bro. Right on. God has Blessed. & Thank you.

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